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Beijing subway to offer mobile phone payment, other upgrades next year
   2016-12-06 16:11:13    People's Daily Online      Web Editor: Guo Jing

A passenger swipes mobile phone to take subway. [Photo: Beijing Morning Post]

Beijing's subway system has finished an update to its automatic fare collection (AFC) system. According to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, the program developed for the system's new "brain" is compatible with the equipment of dozens of vendors, Beijing Daily reported on Dec. 5.

From 2017, Beijing's subway will gradually implement smart transportation. After a testing period, people will be able to buy tickets online or use mobile phone payment to take the subway. What's more, a China transportation card, valid across the country, will be accepted on Beijing buses from the end of this year. The city's subway system will accept the card beginning at the end of 2017.

"At present, passengers have to add money to the China transportation card in the city where they bought the card, so it's important to add enough money before a journey," a Beijing rail transit official pointed out.

According to a plan jointly issued by China's National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Transport, major Chinese cities will all accept the China transportation card by 2018.

Feng Xinhui, an official at Beijing's rail transit command center, said that subway gates will be able to accept mobile payment after the system is upgraded. However, due to heavy passenger flow and stringent safety requirements, the update will take a relatively long time. Subway authorities will expedite the work in order to provide more convenient services as soon as possible.

Beijing subway Lines 7, 8, 15 and the Fangshan Line have recently closed manned ticket windows in favor of self-service machines. However, non-standard cards and coated cards cannot be inserted in the self-service machines.

Beijing's subway system will see more self-service windows in the next few years, according to Feng. New ticket machines will be deployed in subway stations for passengers to collect tickets purchased online. What's more, intelligent fare adjustment is also a goal for the future.

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